St. Luke's Church Faribault
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        Bible Study

        October 15, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
      • Download

        Bible Study

        October 15, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
      • Download

        Tuesday 10:

        July 28, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
      • Isaiah 53:2–6ESV

  • The Old Rugged Cross
  • Amazing Grace
      • 1 Corinthians 2:1ESV

  • Self-Help books fill the bookstores. They offer solutions and power to change your life. Now in the digital age there are videos you can watch that change your life.
    Have you ever watched a Ted Talk? On the Ted Talk website, and often cross posted on other platforms like Youtube or facebook are theses TED talks.They are recorded videos of speeches. The speakers are very gifted, and the speeches are very well-crafted. The TED Talk website says this-TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).
    They claim that these video are powerful and that they change lives. There are a variety topics and all you have to do is go the website, and watch in 18 min or less, and you have power to make a change.
    Now, I did a search for power on their site and this is what I found, actually too many videos to count but here are some.
    Amy Cuddy argues that power posing may can boost feelings of confidence.
    There is a video titled The Power of Vulnerability, The power of introverts The power of protest the power of collaboration, the power of asking, the power of appreciation the power of time off the power of cartoons the power of self-acceptance, the power of herd immunity the power of creativity the power of the placebo effect.
    The power of a good outfit, any of these sound interesting. the power of believing. and the power of law. And there are more, I am just stopping there,
    It appears that people want power over their lives.
    Now, i’m sure some of these talks work. I’m not discrediting them There are people who achieve great things using them, or through other means. Humans have great inner strength, and will power and mental fortitude. We can do great things if we put our mind to it. We can work hard and achieve a pretty good life for ourselves.
    If you got it all figured out, and you have power over your life, and if you don’t have questions about life. If your soul is satisfied, and you are spiritually content, and if you have answered all the big questions you have. Then this message is not for you, in fact it will seem like foolishness.
    But... if you are hungry, and I’m talking about a spiritual hunger, if you carry around a burden of guilt or shame, and you are weary, if you are thirsty for something or someone outside of yourself then this message has more power than all of those other messages combined. For this power comes from God.
    Turn with me to 1 Cor chapter one starting at verse 17 and I will start with a word of prayer.
    1 Corinthians 1:17–2:5 NIV
    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
    This is Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Church. Corinth was a city on the Mediterranean sea. It was a wealthy city and there were shrines to all types of Greek, and Roman gods.
    Now the Church at Corinth had problems. There were divisions, and disputes of all types, and immorality. So Paul wrote this letter to the church to help get them back on track.
    I want to turn back a few verses to 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 10, and read the heading. Some Bible’s we have headings. Theses are not scripture, just helpful guides to the sections put there by the editors. In my NIV the heading says...
    A church divided over leaders, after that heading we read.
    1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV
    10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
    1 Corinthians 1:11–16 NIV
    11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)
    This Church is divided over people following different leaders. One follows Apollos, one Cephas, then Paul says this about himself....
    1 Corinthians 1:17 NIV
    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
    So Paul says that Christ did not send Him to baptize—but to preach the gospel...
    Baptism in the early church was held in extremely high regard. As you became part of the Church, you were baptized, it was a rite of passage. You were going from your old life to a new life, this really meant something to those early believers.Especially since being a part of church could mean persecution, estrangement from family, financial hardship and even death.
    The rite of baptism then carried with it a lot of deep meaning. This was your family now-to the death. So people became emotionally tied to the leader who Baptized them. Perhaps they even felt that there was well some sort of spiritual power attached to that.
    But Paul is saying hey, hold on a minute here, let’s back up a bit. Let’s not forget the central purpose here. I was sent by Christ, not to Baptize, but to preach the Gospel....
    If you have ever been on a team, from time to time emotions are going to run high and things are going to get to the edge. Sometimes if you are watching a football game you see this. A player drops the ball and another payer runs over to him and an argument ensues. Sometimes, at this point a good coach will jump in and say hey guys, let’s not forget what is important here, we are trying to win a game here. Let’s focus.
    That is what Paul is doing-Hey, church, why are you focused in this guy or that guy. I was sent for one purpose to preach the gospel.
    If there is a message for the contemporary church today, I would say this is it. The Church today is being shut down by COVID. Church is being divided within by racial injustices.
    It is time the Church put aside distractions and to focus. It is time to stop the division and realize it is called by God to preach the Gospel.
    Back to the verse 17 this time after the dash. How was Paul called to preach the gospel Well not with eloquence or wisdom....
    Now that seems strange doesn’t it?
    In those days and in that culture there were a number of very skilled speakers that would travel from town to town and they would get paid quite well to speak, on all kinds of topics. They would give very eloquent speeches using sound arguments and great wisdom. This skill was highly valued in that society. Kinda Like TED Talks.
    But not Paul. Paul came to this Corinthian Church not very eloquent, and not even very wise. There was a reason for this. Oh God had a purpose in having Paul not being very wise or eloquent.
    It was to show people where the power was coming from. See if Paul could convince you of the Gospel on his own, by his own skill-then the power of would lie with Paul, and Paul would get the glory. He would entitled to it, It was his best effort.
    If a preacher could stand up here and give an 18 minute Ted Talk with eloquence, wonderful heart tugging illustrations that brought tears to your eyes, and at the end somehow motivated you to leave here and do better, that power would be in the preacher.
    If the power was in Paul or the preacher, then power would not be in the cross. The cross would be emptied of its power. It would be a great story and all. We could hear about it, and be sad about it, but it would be empty of any power. We could hear about any guy who gave up his life. Good story go and go an do like wise.
    The Gospel when you get right down to it, sounds ridiculous. It isn’t even as good as the story of a guy who jumps in front of a bullet for the President. At least in that story there is a result, the President is alive. But a man on a cross, and the world is still as it is. It sounds like foolishness..
    1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV
    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    It is foolishness to those who are perishing. It is ridiculous. To those who are perishing, or to those who are in danger of eternal death, this message is....whatever…Maybe a fairytale. Maybe crazy people, a waste of time. Pointless, unnecessary.
    What possible need could they have for the gospel. They have power elsewhere. Knowledge is power. Money is power, law is power. Relationships are power. What possible need could they have for a story about a first century Jewish carpenter and a wooden cross. Haven’t we evolved past that barbaric imagery.
    For those who have it all figured out, it does seem foolish....
    But…to US to us who are being saved, well this is the power of God. This cross is not the way to wealth or health or will power, or confidence.
    This cross is not the way to freedom from the systems of oppression in this world. This cross is not the way to power or prestige.
    But as Paul says in Romans 1.16 This cross is the power of God to salvation for all who believe. It is the power of God to salvation, coming to the weak who cannot stop drinking. It is the power of God unto salvation for a man tormented by addiction and demons. It is the power of God unto salvation for the troubled the the guilty and the needy and the oppressed. It is the power of God to pull the sinner free from the grip of Satan and into the everlasting arms of Jesus.
    This gospel contains power of God,. This gospel provides spiritual food for the starving soul, and quenches the thirst for righteousness, in the wasteland of sin.
    In the gospel, the alcoholic can find Christ. He may struggle. I cannot promise that the addiction disappears, but now He sets His eyes on Jesus. Now he knows that nothing will be able to separate Him from the love of God that is Christ Jesus. He knows that he can face a day at time with Christ. He has hope of eternal life and final victory over sin.
    In the gospel the depressed person finds hope for a way out of darkness, and sick find comfort, knowing that one day all the disease will be gone.
    Why? Why is the gospel so powerful?
    John 3:16 NIV
    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    For God so loved the world. God the Father saw the sins of you and me. God the Father saw the sins of the weak and needy and the sins of the rich and powerful. God the Father saw the sins of the world, so He sent God the Son Jesus.
    God the Father gave His only and only son to pay the price for our sins.
    See even the best programs and best efforts of man, are self-focused. We can try and best and our put our sins down for a time and work our way out. But in our heart there is still sin.
    Even our best efforts will always leave us short. But the son of God lived the sinless life that we cannot live. So He could pay the price for our sins at that cross, that wonderful wonderful cross.
    And as we cling to that cross the power of God comes to us. The Holy Spirit comes to us, and changes us. He changes us in a way that we can’t change ourselves.
    When the power of God reaches us. We who are dead in our sins and our trespasses are made alive by the power of the cross.
    Ephesians 2:4–5 NIV
    4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
    The power on the gospel- is that it raises us from the dead. We who were dead in our sins and trespass, are raised to life. We are made alive by the power of God, We are born again into a new life.Satan no longer has power over us. Death no longer has power over us,
    Christ has conquered sin and death.
    What can a dead man do? Nothing! They are dead. If we could pull ourselves up if we could somehow have the power to erase our sins or breaks the chain's if we had the power, then the cross of Christ would not need any power, we would empty the cross of its power.
    It the cross had no power, we would not need Jesus to die., and of course this story would be foolishness.
    I don’t know much but I was blind and now I see, There is power in that cross.
    Because the power is in the cross and not in me-God sets the glory.
    1 Corinthians 1:28–31 NIV
    28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
    For the Glory of God and in the name of Jesus Amen
      • 1 Corinthians 1:17–2:5ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:10ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:11–16ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:17ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:18ESV

      • John 3:16ESV

      • Ephesians 2:4–5ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 1:28–31ESV

  • To God Be The Glory

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